15 Places To Buy A Laptop With Linux Preloaded

15 Places To Buy A Laptop With Linux Preloaded


I want a Linux system without having to pay a Microsoft tax. The hardest part of using Linux is to find out the correct hardware. Hardware compatibility and drivers can be a big issue. But where one can find Linux desktops or Laptop for sale? Here are fifteen places to buy a preinstalled Linux Desktop and Laptop.

1. Dell

Dell sells a high-end Redhat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu Linux-based laptop for business use, developers and sysadmins. If you are a developer and tend to travel a lot, give it a try to “XPS 13 Developer Edition” powered by Ubuntu Linux. Dell also offers precision workstations class laptop with RHEL or Ubuntu operating system. Precision workstations are designed for CG professionals, or as small-scale business servers.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Sample config:

  • Dell XPS 13 developer edition
  • CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • RAM: 8 to 16GB (On board/fixed/No extra slot)
  • SSD/HDD: 128GB to 512GB ssd
  • Gaphics: Intel integrated graphics (HD Graphics)
  • Wireless: Broadcom BCM4352 802.11ac
  • Screen: FHD (1920 x 1080) or UltraSharp QHD+ (3200 x 1800) InfinityEdge Touch Display
  • Preloaded distro: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: Worldwide including USA and Europe
More info: XPS 13 Developer Edition​ Preloaded With Ubuntu

Dell also offers new 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors and workstation GPUs its lineup of Precision workstations powered by RHEL or Ubuntu Linux. These are extremely high-end devices.

Related: The Novice Guide To Buying A Linux Laptop

2. EmperorLinux

This vendor sells Linux laptops with full hardware support under Linux. You choose the type of machine you want. You choose the distribution you want. You can choose to have a dual-boot machine too. You can specify your partitions and more. EmperorLinux sale Linux laptop from Panasonic, Dell, and Lenovo.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: USA (international shipping available on request)
More info: http://www.emperorlinux.com/

3. System76

This vendor sells Ubuntu Linux based laptop, server, and desktop computer. It is one of the most recommended brand by Ubuntu forum members.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes (for Nvidia based GPU)
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and 55 other countries.
More info: system76.com

4. Linux Certified

This vendor sells Linux services including robust and cost-effective Linux laptops.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: linuxcertified.com

5. Los Alamos Computers

This vendor sells Lenovo laptop preloaded with Linux operating system. You will find the laptop as per your needs such as performance, everyday computing, ultraportable and economy version.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: laclinux.com

6. Purism

This vendor sells Linux preloaded on the Librem 13 and the Librem 15 laptops. Purism claims to follow a strict belief in users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and worldwide
More info: puri.sm

7. ThinkPenguin

This vendor sells a laptop with GNU/Linux. The vendor also does test laptop with OpenBSD but only ships with Linux distro.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: thinkpenguin.com

8. ZaReason

This vendor sells Linux-based laptop based on rock solid R&D. You can get easy-to-use free and open source software for with each laptop or desktop or server.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes (for Nvidia based GPU)
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and Canada
More info: zareason.com

9. Minifree

This vendor sells GNU/Linux laptops that are certified to Respect Your Freedom. It means your laptop is 100% free from binary blobs. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel operating system and libreboot firmware on hardware. You can buy an ultracompact or workstation grade laptop from Minifree. Personally, I’m using Libreboot X200 model. Apart from laptops, they have desktop and server grade computers too

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: (a) Libreboot T400:

  • CPU: Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz processor
  • RAM: 4GiB to 8Gib (replaceable)
  • SSD/HDD #1: 160GB HDD to 240GB SSD (replaceable)
  • SSD/HDD #2: 160GB HDD to 240GB SSD (replaceable)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 4500MHD
  • Screen: 14.1″ 1280×800 TFT LCD
  • Gigabit ethernet as standard
  • DVD/CD RW drive included (only if not selecting 2nd HDD/SSD)
  • Weight: 2.2 Kg
  • Upgraded with an 802.11n wireless card (Atheros AR5B95, AR9285 chipset), ensuring full compatibility with free drivers in Trisquel GNU/Linux-libre.
  • Backlight (brightness) control is fully functional in libreboot on this laptop.
  • The Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware is 100% removed and inoperable
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: UK and worldwide
More info: minifree.org

10. Libiquity

This laptop vendor certified to Respect Your Freedom. It means your laptop is 100% free from binary blobs. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel operating system and libreboot firmware on hardware.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config:

  • CPU: Intel Core2 Duo
  • Graphics: Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
  • Screen: 12.1″ 1280×800 TFT LCD
  • Wireless: Qualcomm Atheros 2.4-GHz 802.11b/g/n or Qualcomm Atheros 2.4/5.0-GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with long-range Signal Sustain Technology (SST)
  • Bluetooth: Broadcom (some models)
  • Ethernet: Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • RAM: 2GB to 8GB (replaceable)
  • HDD/SDD: 160GB – 240GB ssd or hdd (replaceable)
  • Preloaded distro: Trisquel GNU/Linux
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: USA (for international shipping try minifree)
More info: libiquity.com

11. Entroware

This vendor provides Ubuntu Linux based laptop and desktop solutions including Skylake/Kaby Lake processors .

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: UK and other European countries.
More info: entroware.com

12. Vikings

Yet another vendor that sells FSF certificated laptop, servers and desktop products.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: Germany, other European countries and rest of the world.
More info: vikings.net

13. Litebook

A new cheap Linux laptop called “The Litebook”. It is a 14-inch notebook with an Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell CPU, a 1920 x 1080 display, 4GB of RAM, and a Elementary OS Linux software.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes comes with Elementary OS
Config: Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core, 4GB RAM, replaceable SSD, USB 3.0, Ethernet port, Wifi 802.11N, HDMI, Intel HD with 1920 x 1080 display, and 9 hours battery life
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and rest of the world.
More info: litebook.store

14. Tuxedo computers

TUXEDO Computers from Germany sells laptop and desktops preloaded with Ubuntu Linux. Open your laptop for cleaning and switching parts is covered by their warranty policy.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes comes with Ubuntu OS
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: Germany and many other places.
More info: tuxedocomputers.com

15. Technoethical

Tehnoetic from Bucharest, Romania (European Union) sells laptop, networking adapters, and mobile phone compatible with operating systems that fully respect users’ freedom as defined by the GNU Project.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes comes with Trisquel OS
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: Worldwide
More info: tehnoetic.com

Bounce: Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkPads, especially X and T series are popular choices for Linux users, sysadmins and developers. Most ThinkPads offers out of the box Linux compatibility. Here are some of the systems that I’ve used so far:

  • ThinkPad X200 CentOS 6.x
  • ThinkPad X220 CentOS 6.x
  • ThinkPad X230 RHEL 6.x
  • ThinkPad X240 RHEL 7.x
  • ThinkPad X131e Fedora 20-23
  • Thinkpad T400/T440p/T500/T520/T530/W5{10,20,30,4} CentOS and RHEL 6.x or 7.x

Unfortunately, Lenovo does not sell laptop preloaded with Linux to the end users. You need to visit their Linux Certification page. This vendor included here due to popular demand.

Linux pre-loaded Laptop: No but highly recommended and supported by GNU/Linux community
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: Worldwide
More info: Linux for Personal Systems | Lenovo store (US)

Conclusion

Dell Precision and Latitude machines have worked for me over the years. Original IBM Thinkpads too. Currently, I’m using the following systems:

  1. Lenovo x230 with OpenBSD (personal system)
  2. Dell m6700 workstation with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Linux (my work laptop issued by my employer)
  3. Minifree Libreboot X200 with Gnu Trisquel Linux (my travel laptop)

System76 looks better with excellent hardware, and high quality too. You can just buy it and start working on it. No need to worry about drivers or suspend issue. Same with other vendors mentioned in this post. The FSF only recommends the Minifree or Libiquity vendor. Both of them sell modified ThinkPads. So the hardware is pretty reasonable, and you get 100% binary blob free environments.

What laptop do you recommend for use with Linux? Please add your advice on what to avoid. Any horror stories about particular vendors?

//Image credit: TUX Linux by deiby-ybied

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